Modulating the voltage-sensitivity of a genetically encoded voltage indicator

Arong Jung, Dhanarajan Rajakumar, Bongjune Yoon, Bradley J. Baker

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Saturation mutagenesis was performed on a single position in the voltage-sensing domain (VSD) of a genetically encoded voltage indicator (GEVI). The VSD consists of four transmembrane helixes designated S1-S4. The V220 position located near the plasma membrane/extracellular interface had previously been shown to affect the voltage range of the optical signal. Introduction of polar amino acids at this position reduced the voltage-dependent optical signal of the GEVI. Negatively charged amino acids slightly reduced the optical signal by 33 percent while positively charge amino acids at this position reduced the optical signal by 80%. Surprisingly, the range of V220D was similar to that of V220K with shifted optical responses towards negative potentials. In contrast, the V220E mutant mirrored the responses of the V220R mutation suggesting that the length of the side chain plays in role in determining the voltage range of the GEVI. Charged mutations at the 219 position all behaved similarly slightly shifting the optical response to more negative potentials. Charged mutations to the 221 position behaved erratically suggesting interactions with the plasma membrane and/or other amino acids in the VSD. Introduction of bulky amino acids at the V220 position increased the range of the optical response to include hyperpolarizing signals. Combining The V220W mutant with the R217Q mutation resulted in a probe that reduced the depolarizing signal and enhanced the hyperpolarizing signal which may lead to GEVIs that only report neuronal inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-251
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Neurobiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 1



  • Fluorescence
  • GEVI
  • Voltage range
  • Voltage sensing domain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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